How to Get the Most Miles Out Of Your Running Shoes

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Running shoes are not cheap. However, they are the most critical piece of running gear.

Replacing your shoes is one of the keys to staying healthy and injury free. Sure you can spend hundreds on clothing, apparel, and accessories, but at the end of the day, the only thing you need to get started running is a good pair of shoes.

This is coming from someone who works at a local running store that sells everything you could possibly need. Repeat it with me: All you need are shoes.

So how can you get the most amount of miles out of your shoes?

Only run in them. Running shoes were designed to do just that: run. Of course, they are comfortable but the more you wear them outside of running, the faster they break down.

As comfortable as running shoes are, try and resist the urge to wear them to run errands or do chores.

Think about it this way, the extra mileage adds up. Trips to the grocery store or running errands are miles and time in your shoes.

How many 8 hour runs do you do? How many times have you been guilty of spending 8 hours extra hours running errands in your shoes? I know I have!

The life cycle of a shoe is: Run in them and use the retired (for running) pairs to do errands, mow the lawn, or whatever. Still comfortable but your shoes will last much longer.

Once they have holes, or you have a “new” retired pair, then donate them to a company that re-purposes them.

Rotate between two or more pairs

Of course, having two pairs will mean you won’t buy shoes as frequently, but they will also last longer too. Having more than one pair gives your shoes a rest period or break between runs.

Think of the cushioning of a running shoe like a sponge. When you run, the sponge flattens out. When you rest, the sponge expands back. Shoes are the same way!

Another added bonus is you reduce the risk of injury because your feet and body are working differently in different shoes.

Don’t wash them

Putting your shoes through the washer or dryer is one of the fastest ways to break them down. Let them air dry, or take the insoles out and put newspaper in them to dry out.

There are even products that speed up the drying period. Your shoes are usually permanently damaged after they go through the dryer, even just once.

Properly store them

Keeping your shoes in extreme conditions also breaks down the material faster. This includes:

  • Heat and Cold. Your garage and car are culprits here!
  • Dampness (um, who wants to even run in moldy shoes?)

The best place to store shoes is inside your home. If your shoes smell, there are plenty of

products to take care of that. One day or night won’t ruin anything but consistently storing them somewhere dry and room temperature will bring a longer lifespan.

Finally, buy local

Local running stores sell the shoe at the cost of what the manufacturer wants. They do not set the price. They do not “purposefully” make the shoes expensive.

Another great deal, is at many local running stores if you have an issue you can exchange them. Sometimes if you frequently shop at the store, they will give you a discount.

Many shoes sold online from third parties have been sitting in warehouses for extended periods of time. What does this mean? They’ve been sitting in extreme temperatures and breaking down.

You might get a good deal on the shoe, however, it might not last as long as you’re used to! The only goal of the third party is to get rid of them before the shoe is completely defective.

We want to know: How do you make your shoes last longer?

Hollie Sick is an avid runner who’s completed more than 40 half marathons. Read her blog, or follow her on Facebook.

1 comment… add one
  • Daryl Beatty January 31, 2018, 11:35 am

    I get a lot more life out of shoes by putting “Shoe Goo” on the wear points after a long run, or about once a week. Then let them “rest” on top of the water heater (slightly warm, not hot.) That dries them out, and avoids odor. I log mileage on shoes, and have made almost 3000 miles on a pair before. And no, I don’t have injury problems. I don’t even consider them broken in good until they have 500+ miles on them.

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